Thursday, January 10, 2013

People Lounge To Close, Plus Other Shockers

People Lounge interior via

The week kicked off with the news of Great Lake abandoning its Andersonville digs and Michael Simon leaving his high-profile bartending position at Carriage House. There's so much more:

• According to Eater Chicago, People Tapas Lounge is closing on Jan. 20. No word on why it's leaving, but the owners are also behind Division Ale House, which is also in Wicker Park.

• The guys behind Rockit Ranch Productions have unveiled their latest project, which is going into the old Martini Ranch space. GrubStreet's assessment was pretty restrained. For me, Ay Chiwowa's Mexican theme feels like it's going to be more like a combination of Taco Bell and Tavernita's Barcito (mostly because of the similar dog mascot). Even one of RRP's biggest fans was disappointed about the name, and added that she expected a "Latin lounge with a whimsical twist, perhaps. Fun, festive yet sophisticated. South-of-the-border Sunda?"

Big Jones' chef/owner Paul Fehribach admitted to Time Out Chicago that he regretted putting chicken and waffles on the menu because "Every single table had to have it. ... fried chicken takes so long to cook; we just don't have room to cook it for everyone in the dining room on a Saturday night."

• This pretty much sucks. According to Dish, Todd Stein, who left Florentine to head the kitchen at Piccolo Sogno Due in 2012, is leaving his post. He's not only leaving the restaurant, but he's leaving town to live a more low-key lifestyle in Atlanta. We wish him well!

• Whoa. And this right here is not cool at all.

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